Austudy or Youth Allowance?

Austudy or Youth Allowance?

Centrelink’s Austudy program, often misspelled as “ausstudy” or “aus study”, aims to financially help Australians who are studying or undergoing apprenticeship.  It’s often confused with Youth Allowance, but they are two different programs with different requirements and benefits. Centrelink does not have any benefit program called “Austudy Allowance”.


Eligibility Requirements

You can’t get both Austudy and Youth Allowance at the same time because the eligibility requirements differ. If you’re 25 years of age or older, you can only apply for Austudy. If you’re between the age of 16 and 24, you could be eligible for Youth Allowance.


Government Spending

The Australian Bureau of Statistics categorise both Austudy and Youth Allowance as expenditure on youth and student income support.

Between 2006 and 2011, the Australian government spent a markedly higher amount on Youth Allowance than Austudy. The amount spent on Youth Allowance ranged between $2 billion and $3.2 billion in the years mentioned above. In contrast, the amount spent on Austudy ranged between $217 million and $418 million — just a fraction of the amount spent on Youth Allowance.

The difference in dollar amounts spent is not surprising if you consider the number of recipients. Between 2006 and 2011, the annual number of Youth Allowance recipients ranged between 335,081 and 411,196. During the same period of time, only 27,869 to 39,213 people received Austudy payments.


Benefit Payment Amount

Both Austudy and Youth Allowance helps Australians by providing payments every two weeks to minimise the burden of obtaining income while also being busy with education or apprenticeship.

The amount you receive with Austudy or Youth Allowance is often the same, except if you live at home with your parent or guardian. If you’re on Youth Allowance, you could get higher payments living away from you.


Independence Test

Both Austudy and Youth Allowance applicants have to meet strict eligibility criteria and pass various tests. Both programs, for example, require that you provide proofs of your income level and asset value.

However, there is an additional test with Youth Allowance that you wouldn’t have to take if you were to apply for Austudy. To obtain Youth Allowance payments, you have to show whether you’re dependent on your parent or guardian.

This is important because the amount of payment you receive will be higher as an independent recipient than a dependent one.

There are several criteria to show your independence. Some things that could qualify you as being independent include employment, partnership with another person as a couple, having unfit parents, having kids or being an orphan.


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